Survey: Digital marketing investment increasing despite cuts to overall marketing budgets

The recent IPA Q2 Bellwether survey, compiled by financial information outlet Markit, has shown that whilst total marketing spends are being revised down, digital marketing budgets have continued to increase rapidly, with a positive net balance of 5.1%. Significantly, investment in SEO marketing showed an even sharper rise of 7.4% – a clear indicator of the current trends in the marketing sphere.

Why are brands prioritising digital marketing for investment?

Because of the on-going economic downturn, many brands are making cuts to their total marketing budgets, and are prioritising quick and efficient means of advertising and engagement over more traditional, more expensive options, such as direct mail and print advertising. Digital marketing, which includes blogging and social media marketing, is the clear choice for a brand in this position: it’s inexpensive, easily available and provides a direct route to connect with a vast pool of potential customers.

In the words of Chris Williams, author of the Bellwether report and Chief Economist at Markit: “The focus has been on cutting back on main media advertising, direct marketing and below-the-line activities and reallocating that money towards sales promotions and the internet, both of which are often cited as a means to quickly grow sales, especially in a downturn when customers are particularly cost conscious.”

It’s not just the ease and cost factors that make digital marketing preferable – in the advent of a society where we spend more time on smartphones using the internet than making calls, where social media is an hourly activity and 77% of the population participate in digital media, every business needs to have a strong and effective online presence in order to compete. SEO marketing in particular is essential for businesses who want to make it to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and thus to the forefront of the public’s attention.

Content strategy and its importance for SEO marketing

Putting a brand at the top of the SERPs used to be relatively straightforward, but thanks to sophisticated developments to Google’s algorithm, such as the well-publicised Penguin and Panda updates, crude black hat SEO techniques (e.g. keyword stuffing and duplicate content) will only serve to cast a site down to the bottom of the SERPs.

Instead, brands that are serious about SEO need a detailed and well thought-out content strategy that includes regularly publishing high quality content that offers genuine value for users. Not only does such a strategy enable your customers to interact with and understand your brand, it’s the key to improving your visibility in the SERPs. After all, Google has explicitly said that SEO marketing is “all about content”, including a strong social media presence.

For more information on how to develop an effective content strategy, contact our friendly team at Write My Site: [email protected] or 020 8819 9535.